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TO know whence we sprung is a trait peculiar to
human beings ; and ' the higher we ascend
in the scale of intelligence and moral worth, the
more this trait seems to grow. They who cherish
not the memory of their ancestors will not have
a posterity to cherish theirs.
The following sketch is prepared for the pres-
ent generation of McClanahans and those to fol-
low. It is not expected to be of interest to any
outside of the "Clan."
The writer regrets his inability to trace the
lineage beyond the sea. This might be done by
a visit to the North of Ireland.
H. M. WHITE.
50 far as is known, Augusta County, in the
Valley of Virginia, was not visited by white
men before Governor Spotswood in person took
possession for King George the first, of England.
This was done September 5, 17 16, on the Shen-
andoah River, it is believed at a point about
opposite Swift Run Gap, in the Blue Ridge
It has not been clearly shown in what year the
first white man, or colony of white men, settled
in the Upper Valley. But it seems to be proved
conclusively that the first white settler of Augusta
County, as now bounded, was John Lewis — the
father of Thomas, Andrew, William and Charles,
who distinguished themselves greatly in the early
history of Virginia, especially in the wars with
the Indians, French and British. He came from
Donegal County, Province of Ulster, Ireland, and
6 The McCIvAnahans.
was of Scottish descent. He settled on " Lewis
Creek," as it has ever since been called, which
empties into the Middle Fork of the Shenandoah
and near to the site of Staunton. The Valley
of Virginia was then a wooded ' ' prairie of hills
and dales.' '
The early settlers were not disturbed by the
Indians for a time. Through twenty years, they
who had fled from Ireland to escape war, lived
and died, says Foote, in his " Sketches of Vir-
ginia, ' ' ' ' in that peace in this wilderness for which
their hearts had longed in their native land."
" During this time," writes Waddell, in his ' 'An-
nals of Augusta County/' that is to sa3 r , during
first twenty years after John Lewis came, "the
young Lewises, McClanahans, MatthewSe^, Gamp-
bells, and others, were growing up and maturing
for many a desperate encounter and field of
battle. ' '
Again he writes: "By the year 1745 the
Alexanders, Aliens, Andersons, Bells, Bowyers,
Breckinridges, Browns, Buchanans, Campbells,
Christians, Craigs, Cunninghams, Dickinsons,
Doaks, Finleys, Johnstons, Kerrs, Lewises, Lyles,
Matthewses, Millers, Moores, McNutts, Moffetts,
McPheeters, McClanahans, McDowells, Mc-
Clungs, Pattons, Pickenses, Pattersons, Pilsons,
THK McCtANAHANS. 7
Poages, Prestons, Robinsons, Scotts, Sitlingtons,
Stuarts, Tates, Thompsons, Trimbles, Wilsons,
Youngs, and others, abounded in the settlement.
Other immigrants of the same race came in after-
Robert McClanahan came to Augusta County
from Ireland. The time of his coming has not
been certainly determined, but it was at an early
day. His deed to three hundred and thirty-one
acres of land by William Beverly, dated May 27,
1 741, is on record in Orange Courthouse, Vir-
ginia. There was no clerk's office, in Augusta
County, until 1745. His wife, Sarah Breckin-
ridge, was daughter of Alexander Breckinridge,
who came to America from the North of Ireland
in 1728, and removed from Pennsylvania to a
farm near the present site of Staunton, in Augusta
County, Virginia. Robert McClanahan died in
1 79 1, at his home, one mile south of Staunton,
on what is known now as the Greenville road.
He was, therefore, "the emigrant and founder."
His children were Alexander, John, Robert and
William (sons) ; with Mrs. St. Clair, Mrs. Dean,
Mrs. Poage and Mrs. Keiser (daughters). It is
a little doubtful whether Mrs. Poage was daugh-
ter or granddaughter of Robert, the first ; but
the evidence for the former is very strong.
8 The JUcCi, ana hans.
Mr. Frederick Johnston, in his " Memorials of
Virginia Clerks" (page 52), says that "Robert Mc-
Clanahan, throughout his whole life, was' a prom-
inent man," From, the "Annals of Augusta
County," by Waddell, we learn that he acted in
various public capacities during his life.
Quoting from the records of the county, Wad-
dell writes as follows: "August 22, 1748, it
appears that John Lewis had contracted to erect
the public buildings of the parish for ^148.
* * * From a bond executed by Colonel
Lewis, with Robert McClanahan as security,
* * * it appears that one of the buildings
was a dwelling house for the parish minister."
* * * "November 28, 1749, a commission
to Robert McCknahan, gent., to be sheriff of this
county during his majesty's pleasure, was pro-
duced in court," etc. Adam Breckinridge, son
of Alexander Breckinridge, who was founder of
the distinguished family of that name in this
county, and brother-in-law of McClanahan,
"qualified as deputy sheriff." — Annals, page
In 1750, the County Clerk employed Andrew
Lewis as surveyor, to lay off twenty-five acres in
town lots. The court appointed Andrew Lewis,
Robert McClanahan, and Robert Breckinridge,
Thk McCr,ANAHANS. 9
commissioners to convey the lots to purchasers.
Robert McClanahan purchased two half- acre lots
for £2. 10 s. — Annal3 y pages 4.5, 4.6.
In the year 1755, the French and Indians com-
bined in a war against the British. Companies
were formed in Augusta to oppose them. The
Shawnees were on the war-path. General Wash-
ington was in command of our forces at Winches-
ter on October the eleventh. At this time ' ' some
friendly Cherokees were expected at Staunton to
be employed against the Shawnees, and the Gov-
ernor wrote to David Stuart and Robert McClan-
ahan to treat these allies well. ' ' — Annals, page 77.
"At the meeting of the vestry " (of Augusta
parish) "November 9, 1773, the Rev. John Jones
agreed to receive the Rev. Alexander Balmaine
as curate, and to pay him at the rate of ^100 a
year, directing his attorney, Robert McClanahan,
to pay the same out of his salary." In a per-
sonal letter, Mr. Waddell writes that the Rev.
Mr. Jones, ' ' the last rector of Augusta parish
under the religious establishment before the Rev-
olution," and Robert McClanahan, were very
Sarah Breckinridge, the wife of Robert Mc-
Clanahan was, according to tradition, a woman
of very strong mind, and her company was much
10 The McCi.anahans.
sought by the most cultivated people of her day.
Her father was a staunch Presbyterian.
Robert McClanahan, " after having lived at
various places in Staunton, removed to his farm,
a mile south of town, now (1886) owned by Mrs.
Gay and her children. This farm was conveyed
to McClanahan, in 1748, by Robert Beverley, and
was left by the former, at his death, in 1 791, to
his executors, Alexander McClanahan and Alex-
ander St. Clair. The terms imply a secret trust.
At any rate, the executors conveyed the farm to
Robert McC. , son of Captain Robert and grandson
of Robert the first. Robert the third conveyed
it to John McDowell, who built the present hand-
some brick dwelling on the hill, having lived, in
„. the meanwhile, as the first Robert McClanahan
had,4tf u^msdl house near the Greenville road."
Annals, pages 41, 42.
In the early settlement of a country, before
any great enterprises can be formed or under-
taken ; when men and money are scarce, and
there is no law, one, whose sturdy character,
sound judgment, and good heart, make him a
wise counsellor and trusted ally, is above all price,
and there is no equivalent or substitute for him.
Such an one he seems to have been, a sketch or
Thk McClvANAHANS. 11
outline of whose posterity it is proposed to write
on these pages. To have had such an one as
ancestor, is not only a pleasing subject of reflec-
tion, but also an inspiration to a similar life in
those who follow and uphold the family name.
Brothers of Robert McClanahan.
BROTHER of Robert the first, settled in Phil-
adelphia and became a wealthy merchant.
After the Revolution he represented his district
in the Fifth Congress, 1797. One of his
daughters married Reid, who was a nephew
of Dr. Franklin. — Old Virginia Clerks, page 57.
From another source considered reliable, I find
that the name of this daughter who married
Reid "was probably Huldah. He had another
daughter named Deborah, who married Walton
Stewart." From the published archives of the
Pennsylvania Colony, in the Peabody Library,
Baltimore, Md., ample evidence is obtained to
confirm Mr. Johnston's statement, /. e. f that Blair
McClanahan was * ' a wealthy merchant ' ' in Phil-
adelphia. He was a member of the firm of " Mc-
Clenaghan and Irvin," and a representative in
Congress from 1797-9.
The following extracts from the same authority
have been furnished me by the Rev. Samuel
McLanahan, of Baltimore, Md. :
Thb McCi,anahans. 13
(i) March 3, 1779. The council cleared from
port brig " Convention/ ' owned by him.
(2) March 30, 1779. Mess. McClenaghan and
Irvin were authorized to fit out ship " Gen'l
Greene,* ' for defense and protection of the trade.
(3) April 5, 1779. Council appropriated stores
for this ship.
(4) November 3, 1779. M. Clarkson, Marshal
to the Court of Admiralty, represented that he
had been violently opposed and insulted in the
execution of his office by " Blair McClenachan,"
merchant and principal owner of the privateer
* ' Holker, ' ' who with the aid of sailors had taken
out of the marshal's possession a ship, il Lon-
don (?) Rose, ' ' captured by said privateer. Coun-
cil ordered investigation and suit, if proper.
(5) April 8, 1779. (Volume XI, page 743).
Blair MCClanaghan was authorized to receive
loans for the State.
Mr. McLanahan adds that ' ' the name was most
frequently spelled with a c — McClenachan."
It is recorded in the land office at Harrisburg,
Pa., that a warrant was issued at Philadelphia,
May 17, 1734, to James McClannaghan, to take
up two hundred acres of land on Octorara Creek,
14 The McCi^anahans.
in Lancaster County. This warrant was returned
as transferred to William Webster on the 18th
of December, 1746. A few months after this
transfer, i. e. t on the 18th of April 1747, James
McClannaghan took out a warrant for one hun-
dred and fifty acres of land along the Maryland
line. For this and for other land he received a
patent in 1762. His will was made on the 6th of
June, 1764, and was probated on May 27, 1777.
There was a Scotch-Irish settlement on Octorara
Creek, and the most of the settlers of the Cum-
berland Valley in Pennsylvania, came in from the
This James McClannaghan came to America, as
nearly as can be ascertained, about 1739, from
the North of Ireland, and died A. D. 1771. His
son, James McLenahan, married Isabella Craig,
of Cecil County, Maryland, in 17-61. Their son,
James, married Elizabeth Boggs, of whom were
born five children, the eldest of which was J. King
McL,enahan, now living in Hollidaysburg, Penn.
Their son John married E. Johnston and begat
Thomas Johnston (who became a prosperous mer-
chant of Philadelphia), and Isabella, afterwards
Mrs. George Brown, of Baltimore, who built the
"Brown Memorial Church." William McLena-
han, the sixth child of James and Isabella, mar-
The McClanahans. 16
ried Mary Gregg, and begat four children, the
second of which was James X., who was a mem-
ber of the Thirty-first Congress, from 1849-53.
The similarity of the names — McClannaghan
and McClannahan, and the identity of many of the
family surnames, together with the coincidence in
the time of their coming to America from the
North of Ireland, render it very probable that
James and Robert were near of kin, and probably
Quoting from " Henning's Statutes at Large* '
(as he writes to me personally), Waddell says,
on page 108, Annals of Augusta County, Vir-
ginia : * ' The town of Staunton was at last char-
tered by act of Assembly in November, 1761.
The first trustees of the town were William Pres-
ton, William Lewis, William Christian, Eledge
McClanahan, Robert Breckinridge, and Randal
Lockheart. ' '
[It is questionable who this Eledge McClanahan
was. Waddell, in a letter to me writes, viz. :
" Possibly he was a cousin of Robert. I do not
think he was a brother, but he may have been."
He thinks ' ' Eledge ' ' a misprint for Alex. , abbre-
viated from Alexander, who was son of Robert.
But, in view of the following facts, the second of
16 The McCm.nahans.
which was not known to Waddell when he wrote
the foregoing, I think he was Robert's older
brother : ( i ) The similarity between ' ' Eledge ' '
and Elijah, by reason of which a mistake of one
for the other was quite possible. (2) A letter in
my possession, written by Elijah McClanahan,
from "Augusta County, November 25, '89"
(1789), to his married daughter with <4 a rising
family," Mrs. Jinnie Holliday, Winchester, Vir-
ginia. It was written in his old age to bid her
" a last fare well.' ' As Robert came from Ireland
about 1740 and died in 1791, this letter was
written two years before he died, when, we may
suppose he was, about seventy-five years old.
(3) The fact that we hear nothing of his being
in active service in the field during the Indian
wars and Revolution, and of his holding offices
of much responsibility dtlring and after the war,
would indicate the same. (4) Both Elijah Mc-
Clanahan and Alexander McClanahan were on
the court to try disloyal persons after the war, but
Elijah was foreman of the court.]
The separation between church and State in
Virginia was not effected until December 17, 1785,
when the " Bill of Rights," drawn up by Thomas
THE McCtANAHANS. 17
Jefferson, became law. Yet the preparation for
this event was in progress for some years before-
hand. While the honor of having drawn the
first memorial to the Virginia House of Burgesses
on this subject, is due to the Presbytery of Han-
over, whose memorial was written and forwarded
November n, 1774, yet Augusta County was
among the first to fall into line.
Waddell says (page 155) : " In October, 1776,
the several companies of militia and freeholders
of Augusta forwarded, to the representatives of
the county in the Legislature, their sentiments on
the subject of religious liberty. They demanded
that all religious denominations within the Do-
minion be forthwith put in full possession of equal
liberty without preference or preeminence ," etc.
This paper was signed by a number of gentlemen,
among whose names are those of Elijah McClan-
ahan and Alexander St. Clair, who married a
daughter of Robert McClanahan. — American
Archives, Fifth Series, Volume II, page 815.
Treason Triai^s After the Revolution.
Only two men in Augusta County have been
heard of who were disloyal to their State. These
were brought to trial in 1781, and a bill of indict-
ment for levying war against the Commonwealth
18 The McClanahans.
was found against them. The court which tried
them "was composed of Elijah McClanahan,
Alexander St. Clair, Alexander McClanahan,
Thomas Adams, and Tames Trimble.'' — Annals,
page-gr If we are right in the opinion that Elijah
McClanahan was brother of Robert the first, then
was this court of five composed of an uncle, a
nephew, and a brother-in-law, with two others.
At any event, the court of five contained three
members of the same family.
That Elijah McClanahan was one of the first
trustees of the town of Staunton ; a freeholder,
demanding religious liberty from the Legislature
of the State ; the chairman of the court that sat
in judgment on disloyal citizens during the Revo-
lution, are facts on which his family may dwell
with pleasurable emotions. But to my mind his
intrinsic worth is best seen in the most precious
relic of the family records — the letter to his
daughter already referred to. None but a heart
made mellow by the purest spirit of reverence
and devotion to God, and none but a sound and
excellent mind could have written it. It is a long
letter, full of wise and wholesome counsel. He
urges upon her, with affectionate tenderness,
"the value of her soul;" "the free offer" of
salvation in Christ ; the freedom from ' ' slavish
The McCi,anahans. 19
fears " obtained through the gospel ; " a particu-
lar regard to the Sabbath day, which alas ! is too
frequently spent in idle conversation, tea-drinking
and various amusements j' ' and closes with these
words : ' ' You will see that my sentences are
short and broken, but my earnest desire and
prayer is that your soul may be saved through
Jesus Christ, our Lord, to whom be everlasting
and eternal praise. ' '
Children of Robert McClanahan.
I. — Alexander.
HE was the first son of Robert the first and
his wife, Sarah. He married a Miss Shelton,
who was sister of Patrick Henry's first wife.
His first appearance in military life was during
the Indian wars.
In the year 1764, the Indians in Western Penn-
sylvania and Western Virginia, rose up in mass
against the whites, but were defeated by British
troops and driven beyond the Ohio River. To
conciliate and make them good neighbors, the
government issued a proclamation forbidding any
subject of Great Britain to hunt or settle west of
the Alleghany mountains without written per-
mission. After this a military force, under Col-
onel Bouquet, was sent across the Ohio River to
treat with them.
The McClanahans. 21
In his command was a regiment of Virginians,
one of whose companies was commanded by Cap-
tain Alexander McClanahan. John McClanahan,
his brother, was lieutenant in another company.
One of the fruits of this expedition, which
seemed to have been bloodless, was the recovery
from the savages of many who had been captured
and carried off by the Indians at different times
in their hostile incursions uoon the whites. The
infant son of Lieutenant John McClanahan re-
ceived from the - government one thousand acres
of bounty land for the services of his father in
this expedition, his father having died about ten
years after his return.
The Battle of Point Pleasant.
Ten years after Bouquet's expedition, A. D.
1774, the Indians along the Ohio River rose up
with a spirit of desperate determination against
the whites. They had become provoked by the
gradual occupation of Kentucky by the latter in
spite of Bouquet's proclamation. Convinced that
they were doomed to destruction tribe by tribe if
they stood on the defensive, they formed a con-
federacy, mustered their warriors together, and
gave command of the whole army to Cornstalk,
a chief, who proved himself in every way worthy
22 The McClanahans.
of the confidence they reposed in him. He
opened his campaign by attacking the whites on
the border, plundering their property and massa-
cring their people.
This roused the Government of Virginia at
Williamsburg. Governor Dunmore ordered
General Andrew Lewis, then living in Botetourt
County, to raise a force of ten or twelve hundred
men in the upper Valley and march to Point
Pleasant on the Ohio River. He himself, with
another force, recruited in the lower Valley, set
out for Fort Pitt, in Western Pennsylvania (now
Pittsburg), intending to join Lewis, Of General
Lewis' command, four hundred were from
Augusta County, and composed a regiment which
was commanded by his brother, Colonel Charles
Lewis ; the rest were from Botetourt County and
were commanded by Colonel Fleming. Alexander
McClanahan commanded, as captain, a company
in Colonel Lewis' regiment, and Robert McClana-
han, Jr., was captain of a company in Colonel
Governor Dunmore failed to join General
Lewis, when Cornstalk, taking advantage of the
situation, delivered battle against Lewis at Point
Pleasant, August 10, 1774. In this noted and
decisive engagement, which lasted all day and
tun McClanahans. 2$
was very bloody, Captain Robert McClanahan fell,
mortally wounded. He left two sons — Robert,
the third of the name — who moved into Ken-
tucky. Two colonels, i. e. y Lewis and Field, six
captains, and three lieutenants with other subal-
terns, were among the slain in this desperate
engagement. See Howe's History of Virginia,
On the 22nd of February, 1775, the freeholders
of Augusta county assembled to choose members
of the convention of Virginia, called to consider
the question of opposing the tyranny of Great
Britain over the States. Mr. Thomas Lewis and
Captain Samuel McDowell were chosen members
of the convention, and a committee was raised to
draw up a bill of instructions for their guidance.
This committee consisted of the Rev. Alexander
Balmaine, Mr. Samuel Matthews, Captain Alex-
ander McClanahan , Mr. Michael Bowyer, Mr.
William Lewis, and Captain George Matthews.
Waddell says, this was ' ' the first patriotic meeting
of the people of Augusta County of which we
have any account. ' '
At the commencement of the Revolution, Alex-
ander McClanahan was commissioned Lieutenant-
24 Thk McCXanahams. [
Colonel of the Seventh Regiment of Virginia
Volunteers. (William Dangerfield was colonel
and William Nelson major of this regiment. ) He
was in the battle of Great Bridge, near Norfolk,
December 9, 1775, where "every British grena-
dier was killed without loss to the Virginians. ' '
He served also at Williamsburg in 1776, under
General Andrew Lewis, and was commissioned
colonel of the same regiment, October 7th of the
same year. He was also engaged in the battle of
Gwynn's Island, July 8, 1776, after the burning
of Norfolk, which battle put an end to the inglo-
rious career of Lord Dunmore as Governor of
Virginia. " Shortly after, Dunmore left the coast
of Virginia forever." — Howe's History of Vir-
ginia, page 376.
The Virginia Gazette, of July 29, 1776, copied
in Howe's Virginia, page 377, says: "General
Lewis then ordered two hundred men, under
Colonel McClanahan, to land on the island, which
was performed as expeditiously as our small ves-
sels would admit of. On our arrival we found
the enemy had evacuated the place with the
greatest precipitation, and were struck with horror
at the number of dead bodies in a state of putre-
faction." In this engagement Lord Dunmore
was wounded in the leg.
The McCi,anahans. 25
Alexander had three children — a son, named
John, who died young and unmarried, and two
daughters, Mrs. Abneyand Mrs. Austin. De-
scendants of these ladies now live in Augusta
II. — John.
His wife was Margaret Ann, daughter of
Thomas Lewis, who was a son of "John Lewis,
the founder." The union between these two
families, Lewis and McClanahan, beginning at
that early period, has been frequently repeated
down to the present time.
" Thomas Lewis, the county surveyor, was
disqualified for military service by defective vision,
but was a man of culture and influence, and held
various important positions. He was a member
of the House of Burgesses and of the State Con-
vention in 1775, and commissioner in 1777 to
treat with the Indian tribes on the Ohio. He
died October 31, 1790." — WaddelVs Annals,
John McClanahan died in 1774, leaving a son,
named Thomas Lewis, who died in November,
1774. After his death a child was born in De-
cember, 1774, and was called John. His widow
married William Bowyer. In a personal letter
Mr. Waddell writes as follows : ' ' John McClan-
26 The McClanahans.
ahan, son of John, was educated at William and
Mary College, and was a youth of large fortune.
He married Mildred Maupin, of Williamsburg,
and had seven children, only two of whom lived
to maturity. He went to Kentucky in t 807 and,
coming back to Virginia, died in 1815, probably
in Lewisburg. His son John (the third) married
Eliza McClung, of Greenbrier, and died in 1838,
leaving children. A daughter of John (the
second) married Captain John Gautt, of the
United States Army, and their son, N. B. Gautt,
lived in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1890/ '
III. — Robert McClanahan the Second.
He, with others, made the first permanent set-
tlement in* Greenbrier, then a part of Botetourt
County. As we have seen, he was captain of a
company in Colonel Fleming's regiment, and was
killed in battle with the Indians at Point Pleasant.
He left two sons, Robert and John, who went to
Kentucky. He is said to have been a physician.
IV. — William McClanahan.
He was the fourth son of Robert, the founder.
He was born December 25, 1740, and died in
1 8 19. He moved from Augusta Couuty to Bot-
etourt before the battle of Point Pleasant, and
The McCi,anahan>< 27
settled on or near what is now the McAdamized
road, three or four miles east of the present site
of Salem, in Roanoke County. The farm was
afterwards owned by one Cavell. All the land
around there, called afterwards "The Barrens,'*
was covered with scrub oak and scrub pine, over
which a deer could leap, as Colonel James McClan-
ahan, son of William, said in 1865, to a social
company, of whom I was one.
The Indians were sometimes seen lurking about.
This fact greatly alarmed the family on one occa-
sion when the lad, Elijah McClanahan, was
belated after nightfall while returning, with a
bag ot corn meal, from the mill. Their joy was
equally great when a diligent search in the night,
in which all the neighbors joineVi,' was rewarded
by his being found.
William McClanahan was married to Sarah
Neely, March 7, 1769, at the home of her parents,
on the creek east of Salem, between that town
and the present city of Roanoke. This place was
owned, until within a few years past, by Mr.
Jerry Pitzer. Her family afterwards moved to
Mr. McClanahan removed to the south bank
of Roanoke River, about 1780, beside " the Big
Spring, ' ' as it was called for nearly a century and
28 The McCXanahans.
a half. It is now known as the Crystal Spring,
at the foot of Mill Mountain, on its southwestern
side, 'and supplies the city of Roanoke with
water. Here he built a house of hewn logs,
with two large rooms on the ground floor, and a
passage between, one and one-half stories high.
After a while two rooms were added. The two
chimnies, built of stone, at the ends of the house,
were large and contained large fire-places. The
house stood northwest and southeast ; in front of
the right or chamber window of the present
house (1894), and distant from it about sixty
feet. The northwest end was a few feet to the
right of the present walk, which extends from
the front door of the house now occupied by Wm.
S. McClanahan to the yard gate. It had a porch
in front, facing Tinker Mountain. Port-holes
were cut in the log walls, through which to fire
upon attacking savages. The stairway was
within the house. In later years the log walls
were weather-boarded. So it stood until 1855,
when it was removed by E. G. McClanahan.
Offspring of William McClanahan, Sr.,
and Sarah, his Wife.
( J J ELIJAH McClanahan-^?born April 20, 1770;
I— married September 3, 1795, Agatha Strother
Lewis, daughtei of Colonel Andrew Lewis, who
then lived on Bent Mountain ; offspring, twelve
children. Colonel Andrew Lewis was fourth son
of General Andrew Lewis.
2. Nancy McClanahan ; born August 15,
1772 ; married Colonel William Lewis, son of Gen-
eral Andrew Lewis ; owned and lived on what is
now called the Burwell estate, near Salem ; after-
wards moved to Alabama ; offspring, a large fam-
ily ; Dr. Andrew Lewis was one of them ; Lewis
was her second husband ; the first was Thomas
Madison ; Dr. William Lewis, who married Miss
Mary McFarland, daughter of Rev. Francis Mc-
Farland, D. D., a Presbyterian minister of
Augusta County, Virginia, was her son ; the
Rev. Frank W. Lewis, of Clinton, Louisiana,
was their child.
30 THE McClyANAHANS.
3. Jane McClanahan ; born November 27,
1774 ; married Andrew Lewis, grandson of Gen-
eral Andrew Lewis ; offspring, a family of six
children ; owned and lived on the farm now (1894)
owned by Captain R. B. Moorman, on the north-
east of Roanoke.
4. James McClanahan ; born September 10,
1777 ; married Elizabeth Walton, of Georgia, in
April, 1808; offspring, . nine children— six sons
and three daughters ; owned and lived on a farm
southwest of Roanoke city, and distant about one
mile, on the Norfolk and Western Railroad.
Colonels Elijah and James McClanahan.
[Colonel Elijah McClanahan was a man of
noble build in body, mind and spirit. In person,
he was tall and large, without being portly ; his
countenance was impressive, blending kindness
and candor with gravity ; his disposition was
cheerful and sociable ; his probity beyond all
reproach ; and the love and fear of God governed
his life. He was a tower of strength in the
Presbyterian Church at Salem as a ruling elder,
and was the chief builder of the church at Big
Lick. His name in the church extended beyond
his own Presbytery. It was considered a privi-
lege by strangers from a distance to know him.
The McCiANAHANS; 31
His brother, Colonel James McClanahan, was
very much like him. It would be difficult to com-
pare and impossible to contrast them. When I
went to Roanoke to live in June, i860, their names
were on the lips, of everybody. They were better
and more favorably known, it seemed to me, than
any two men in the county. A noble pair of
brothers. Long should their memory be cherished
and honored by their descendants.]
5. John McClanahan; born April 30, 1780;
married Lucy Walton, February, 1806, sister of
William Walton, who lived one mile west of
Salem and was an elder in the Salem church,
noted for his piety ; offspring, five children — two
sons and three daughters ; Charles, Sarah Griffin
and Lucy Tosh brought up families ; lived on a
farm adjoining the old homestead on the Franklin
turnpike ; died in 18 14.
6. Washington McClanahan ; born October
3, 1782 ; unmarried ; died in 18 16, from lung
trouble, caught, it was said, by sleeping between
damp sheets, at a hotel, while stopping on a
7. Green McClanahan ; born October 3, 1782 ;
twin brother of Washington ; married Elizabeth
Griffin, of Staunton, Virginia, June, 1808 ; lived
on a farm on Glade Creek, one mile or more east
32 1*HB McCMlNAHAHS.
of Vinton ; died in 1820; offspring, three sons
and two daughters.
8. Mary McClanahan ; born March 19, 1785 ;
married Dr. Marcle, of Liberty, (now Bedford
City), Bedford County, Virginia ; offspring, four
children; Dr. Marcle, after her death in 1819,
9. Sarah McClanahan ; born October 13, 1788 ;
married Moses Cook ; lived on Tinker Creek in
homestead called il Rocky Dale ;" offspring, five
children ; the widow, with two daughters, Sarah
and Julia, moved to Charleston, Kanawha County,
West Virginia, where she died ; (only Sarah and
Nancy, of the nine children, died outside of
Roanoke County). Mr. Cook was a talented
lawyer, of much personal popularity, as was his
son William after him ; Mrs. Cook was a woman
of extraordinary beauty and received much atten-
tion in society.
Not one of the nine children had a double
William McClanahan, Sr., seems to have been
prospered in business. He gave a farm to each
of his children, as we have seen. It seems that
these farms were in the woods for the most part
and that they built their own dwelling houses.
Four of these houses still stand (1894), *• e ->
ThB McCi,anahans. 33
Green's, on Glade Creek ; John's, on the Franklin
pike ; Elijah's, about three miles north of Roan-
oke city ; James' , one mile southwest of Roanoke
As evidence of his prosperity, and an interest-
ing relic of a past century, I insert the following
copy of a store account, taken from an original
manuscript of excellent, substantial body, though
yellow with age and so mutilated by time as to
be illegible in parts :
on o»^- VO VO00 ON
■m rO *■* VO I O VO
00VO cOOMOOvO O '-' lOiO'-'VOvO <- 10 fOOO VO M «O00 ^" »o
^T" — -—- ~ .
* M M ft*&>
g cu OS 2 <*
b o o o o
vO * w
M ft M
fi - -
VO ^ g •
O Ot-j o
CU co <0
O O O
M M *
o o o
vO co W to
— ~ ov — O
_ ^O 'D *j
O cu „^ 3
■♦-» p oj
— a 60
Poo o op O
H ^ »
• o o
_^ — .vo ro«i2
— S 2 «
«Oj h h
« ay c8 **
d O u n
o o o o
C u co
-—a> bo <3
• « a & *
M fO P-1*0 « O*
o o o o o o
36 The McCi,anahans.
Mr. Wm, McClanahan, Sr., died about 1820,
from amputation of the leg, rendered necessary
by disease which began in the foot. His wife,
the mother of all his children, survived him, and
died about 1824. In person she was slender, and
in old age suffered from palsy in the head. They
both died in the old homestead and were buried
in the old burying ground near by. This vener-
able cemetery was the only one within a radius of
sixteen miles, as Mrs. il Betsy McClanahan " per-
sonally testified to Mrs. Colonel Thomas Lewis,
and according to her memory, " the whole hill was
covered*Jgraves. ' } Mrs. "Betsy McClanahan"
personally testified to Mrs. Blanche White also,
that a pine tree had grown up between the head
and foot stones of the grave of her father-in law,
Colonel Wm. McClanahan. Mrs. White remem-
bers this tree. It wafc blown down, and a snag of
its stump (root) may now (1894) be seen between
After the death of Mrs. Wm. McClanahan, Sr.,
the homestead was inherited by her grandson,
Charles McClanahan, who sold it to William, son
of James McClanahan, who sold it to Colonel J. R.
Richardson, who sold it to Thomas Tosh, who
sold it to Elijah McClanahan, son of Green and
grandson of William, the senior. He afterwards
The McClanahans. 37
(i860) bought the Big Spring mill on the place
and removed a deed of trust that had long been
on it. His widow, Emma S. McClanahan, bought
it at the sale, and sold it to a land company in 1889.
V. — Jane McClanahan, Fifth Child of
Robert, the Founder.
Her husband, Alexander St. Clair, came from
Belfast, Ireland, and was for a long time a pros-
perous merchant in Staunton, and an active mem-
ber of the County Court. He also represented
Augusta in the State Senate, in the years 179 1-3.
Her children were as follows :
1. Anne, wife of John Boys. She died when
only nineteen years old, and her husband died a
few years afterwards, leaving one child, Kitty
Boys, who was the mother of Mr. Joseph A.
Waddell, author of " Annals of Augusta County,
. Virginia," and member of the " Virginia Histor-
2. Jane, wife of Dr. William Boys, a cousin
of John. Among her numerous descendants are
the Cochrans, Telfairs, and Trimbles. Her only
son, Alexander St. Clair Boys, died in Ohio,
3. Sally, wife of Captain Robert Williamson,
' a native of Scotland, and a sea-captain ; a man
88 The McClanahans.
highly esteemed and eminent for his piety. They
had two sons and two daughters. Probably some
children of one of the sons are now living in
Ohio. One of the daughters married a gentle-
man named McL,auren, and left a number of
children, some of whom are in Texas.
VI. — Mrs. Dean.
One of her descendants, probably a grand-
daughter, was the wife of Robert Anderson, of
Augusta County, who died leaving one child,
Wm. D. Anderson, who also died a few years
ago, leaving several children.
VII. — Policy McCi^anahan.
Married Thomas Poage.
The Poage Connexion.
Robert Poage, Sr. , with his wife Elizabeth and
nine children, came from Ireland to Philadelphia,
and from there to this colony, "at his own
expense. ' ' The time of his coming is not known,
but, on May 22, 1740, he appeared at Orange
court to " prove his importation," that he might
take up public lands. He settled three miles
north of Staunton.
The McCXanahans. 39
Thomas Poage, son of Robert Poage, Sr. , in-
herited his father's homestead. He and his wife,
Polly McClanahan, had eight children :
i. Elijah ; married Nancy Grattan, and went
2. Robert ; married Martha Crawford, and
went to Kentucky.
3. John ; married Mrs. Rachel Crawford, and
lived in Rockbridge county ; father of Colonel
Wm. S. Poage, now (1894) in -Lexington; Virginia,
who distinguished himself in the war between
the States for gallant and meritorious services as
4. William ; married Peggy Allen. One of
his daughters married General James A. Walker,
who commanded the Stonewall Brigade in ' ' the
war between the States ; M afterwards became
Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia ; now a lawyer
in Wytheville, Virginia.
5. Ann ; married Major Archibald Woods, of
Botetourt ; grandfather of Rev. Edgar Woods, of
Albemarle, founder of Pantop's Academy, who
is (1894) father of three Presbyterian mission-
aries in Tsing-Kiang-Pu, China.
6. Elizabeth ; married Rev. Wm. Wilson,
second pastor of old Augusta church, which was
built before Braddock's war, on "on the prairie
40 The McClanahans.
hills and vales of the Triple Forks of Shenan-
doah," and still stands, in constant use (1894).
He died December 1, 1835, having numbered
ninety-four years ; his wife survived him two
years and died at the same age. (For a sketch
of his life, see Foote's Sketches of Virginia,
Second Series, pages 108-9.)
7. Polly ; married Hon. Thomas Wilson,
brother of Rev. Wm. Wilson, who was father of
Rev. Norvel Wilson, and grandfather of Bishop
Alpheus Wilson, of the Southern Methodist
Church. His daughter, Mrs. Louise Lowrie,was
a missionary in India.
8. Agnes ; died unmarried. (See Supplement
to Waddell's Annals, page 443.)
Elijah and Agatha McClanahan and their fam-
ily of twelve :
1 . Elizabeth ; married Dr. Gabriel Nash ;
second husband was Dr. Cox, of Missouri ; off-
spring, several children.
2. Sallie ; married Edward White, brother of
Alexander White, of Fort Lewis ; offspring, seven
3. Mary ; married R. D. Montague ; off-
spring, five. She was mother-in-law of Judge
The McCi,anahans. 41
George Junkin, whose son, William Junkin, is
now (1894) missionary in Corea.
4. Agnes ; married Dr. John Ingles ; off-
spring, four, one of whom is Mrs. Colonel
Thomas Lewis, of Roanoke.
5. Lucy ; married William Johnston ; off-
6. Nancy ; married Colin Bass.
7. Catharine ; married Thomas Ingles ; off-
8. Fannie ; married Thomas Micou, of Essex
County, Virginia ; second husband, Rev. Charles
Miller ; grandmother of Rev. W. McC. Miller ;
9. Jane ; married Rev. J. N. Lewis ; off-
10. Peggy ; died young.
11. William ; engaged to marry Patsy Lewis ;
both died from fever without having married.
James and Elizabeth and their family :
1. Robert ; died unmarried.
2. Thomas ; died unmarried.
3. Elisha ; married Fannie Jeter ; offspring,
42 The McClanahans.
4. Blanche ; married Rev. Thomas Sydnor,
D. D. ; offspring, four.
5. Mary ; married Quinn M. Word ; offspring,
6. Elizabeth ; unmarried.
7. James ; married Virginia White.
8. Edward ; married Susan Holt.
John and Lucy and their family :
1 . Charles ; married Lizzie White, of Penn-
sylvania ; offspring, four children.
2. Sarah ; married Dr. John H. Griffin, of
Salem, Virginia ; offspring, eleven — among them
Captain Charles (Griffin's Battery, Army North-
ern Virginia), Rev. John Griffin, Samuel, Judge
Wingfield, Thomas, United States Navy.
3. Mary ; married John White ; Mrs. Fannie
Patton her only child.
4. Lucy ; married Thomas Tosh ; offspring,
nine, seven of whom grew to maturity.
Green and Elizabeth and their family :
1 . Elizabeth ; dn^ap^eaf^ADram^Rader ; off-
spring, four — two died in Confederate States
Army on same day and in the same room ; second
husband William McClung — offspring, three,
Laura, Thomas and Sarah.
2. Washington ; unmarried.
The McCi,anahans. 43
3. Sarah Neely ; married Dr. Fox ; no child
that lived ; second husband Rev. Thomas Busey
— offspring, five, William, Norvel, Henry, Eliz-
abeth and Charles.
4. John ; married Maria May, Scottsville,
Virginia ; offspring, two, Green and Norma.
5. Elijah ; married Sarah Margaret Hurt ;
offspring, three — Laura, wife of Rev. A. W.
Pitzer, D. D., of Washington, D. C. ; Maria
Blanche, wife of Rev. H. M. White, D. D., of
Winchester, Va. ; Nannie, wife of P. H. Rorer,
of Roanoke, Va. Second wife, Emma Samantha
Crenshaw ; offspring, four — Robert, Sarah, Wil-
liam S. , and Etta.
The War of 186 1-5.
The good name made by the McClanahans in
the Indian wars and in the war of the Revolution,
was not suffered to be lost in that ' ' between the
States.' ' All the young men of the family, with-
out exception, so far as can be ascertained, who
were of serviceable age, enlisted voluntarily and
made good records as soldiers, both in rank and
file, of the Army of Northern Virginia.
, James, Elijah],
Mrs. Robert Anderson
rs. Wm. D. Anderson